Opening an eBay shop and choosing your subscription level
eBay has three levels of shop, Basic, featured and Anchor. This post considers the benefits of an eBay shop and compares the different packages.
Reasons to get an eBay Shop
An eBay shop is a very cost effective way of having an online store with an integrated payment solution (PayPal) and (semi) guaranteed traffic. It is your foothold on the internet and a place where your customers can see all the items you have for sale and make additional purchases. The benefits of a shop (all subscription levels) are as follows:
- One place (unique URL) where all your items can be viewed and searched
- Custom pages where you can tell your customers more about your products
- Customised web address. e.g. http://stores.eBay.co.uk/auctioning4u
- Promotion boxes for advertising products and special offers
- Shop categories – organise your products into up to 300 categories
- Customisation – brand the store with your logo and look and feel
- Access to eBay store inventory format – cheap, long duration listings
- Picture hosting
- Promotion when eBayers search for items in the related shops link
- Cross promotion boxes on your listings
- Email marketing
- Promotional materials (leaflets, business cards etc)
- Search engine keyword specification – specify the keywords for your shop to enable your shop to be found by the search engines
- Listing feeds – the shop inventory items are automatically submitted to froogle – googles shopping comparison engine
- Traffic reports. Track where how your customers find your items
Basic eBay Shop – Â£6 per month
This level is sufficient for most sellers, I would recommend it for all serious eBay sellers as it give you a foothold on eBay and the internet in general and allows you to list in shop inventory format – a great way to upsell to customers. The basic shop has all the benefits discussed above, with the following salient features:
- 5 Custom pages
- Free email marketing (100/month)
- Basic Omniture traffic reports
- 1MB picture hosting
Featured eBay Shop – Â£30 per month
If you are a high volume eBay seller then the extras available level make it worth considering. Furthermore if you add up all the extras you get with the subscription, it does not cost that much more.
- Free Sales Manager Pro
- Free Sales Reports Plus
- Better Placement in the Shops Directory
- More in Depth Omniture Statistics (Traffic Reports)
- 1000 emails per month
- 10 Custom Shop pages
- Option of Minimal eBay Header Style
If you make use of Selller manager Pro (Â£4.99/mth) and Sales Reports plus (Â£3.00/mth) along with the Â£6.00 you’d pay anyway for a basic shop then a Featured shop will only cost you an additional Â£16.01/mth and that is after VAT.
Anchor eBay Shop – Â£300 per month
If you are top eBay seller, you could consider an eBay anchor shop. The additional benefits are:-
- 15 Custom Shop Pages
- Showcase Placement of your logo in Shops Directory Pages (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/)
- More Free eMail Marketing (4000/mth)
- 50MB picture hosting
Pretty expensive for what you get in my opinion. I once talked to someone from eBay who could not give me a decent answer for why anyone would want one.
Full details of the subscription levels can be found here http://pages.ebay.co.uk/storefronts/subscriptions.html
Choosing Your level
Which ever level of shop you choose budget it against your sales and the number of listings you have on the site.
- If you make 30 sales a month then a Basic shop will cost you Â£6.00/30 = 20p per sale
- If you make 200 sales a month then a Featured shop will cost you Â£30.00/200 = 15p per sale
- If you make 5000 sales a month then an Anchor shop will cost you Â£300.00/5000 = 6p per sale
Check your margins, work out the cost of your shop averaged across your sales, and decide what’s an affordable cost for your business. Whilst the a featured shop is pretty cheap and therefore not really worth analysing in terms of sales, an anchor shop is a servious invesment by comparision. I would recommend trialing one for a month and seeing if it makes a difference to your eBay vital statistics.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that paying for the most expensive shop will increase your sales significantly, as the chances are that it won’t.